Tag: Project Management

Jeff Chamberlain

How To Do a Project Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis is a strategic planning tool to help understand where a project is, where it needs to be, and how to get there.

For a simplistic take, here is a project chart showing project status:

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How to Avoid a Bad Project

Do you ever feel out of control of your project?

Over the past 27 years, I have worked on over 500 large scale projects. Within these 500+ projects, I have taken an interest in listening to client’s and other project professional’s previous experiences about projects that have gone bad. In these conversations, we can learn from failures and plan for better success in the future. But to be quite honest, I will do anything I can to prevent a project that I am working on from “going bad”. With that being said, there are some things that are outside of my control. As much as I want the project to be successful—I do need the client to be in control of the right things.

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The Importance of Requirements Gathering for Software Projects

Requirements are an essential part of any software project and the foundation on which all projects should be built. The gathering of and compiling of requirements for a software project is very much a partnership between the user of the software and the developer. Obviously the customer or software user needs to communicate to the developer what they need, but at the same time the developer needs to be able to anticipate needs and ask the right questions during the requirements gathering phase of a project. 

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Why Did We Miss Those Requirements?

How does your end-user derive true value from the product/service you provide? The end-user doesn’t care too much if the product/server was delivered within budget or on-time. They are most concerned and get the best benefit as long as their requirements have been met in its entirety. 


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Critical Path and Why is it Important?

In my formative years as a business analyst, I was once summoned by my project manager into the war room while working on an eCommerce project for one of my company’s high profile clients. We were about 2 months away the launch date and the PM asked us for the critical path. My first question (to myself) was, “what in the world is a critical path and why is the PM asking me this.”

Here is how I interpreted that question, “well.. the project is critical to my organization, it is critical to succeed, so everything on this project is the critical path”.

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Pros and Cons of the different implementation strategies

The 3 main implementation strategies that I have used over the years have been:

  1. Parallel Run
  2. Big Bang
  3. Phased Approach

Proactively evaluating and selecting the appropriate ERP implementation strategy that fits your business and your individual risk tolerance is vitally important and is as much an early decision gate as it is to select the correct ERP solution for your business.

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project meeting
Jeff Chamberlain

Is this a Project? Some fundamental rules in defining a Project.

What constitutes a project in the real sense of the PMI: 

  • Projects are always temporary in nature, therefore, they have a start data and an end date. 
  • Projects are unique in nature and do not include repetitive actions because that was the case it would be deemed a routine operation.  
  • Projects also must have specific goals and milestones that need to be delivered and met. 
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Your Thanksgiving Day Dinner vs. Your ERP Project

Tis the season when most get excited about the holidays and gather with friends and family in celebration.  For some, the holidays are stressful.  There is planning, preparation, execution, and clean up and doing so all on top of your regular daily routines.  Oh and it isn’t always just for one holiday but for two, three, or more in a 2 month period.   I’m just going to think about Thanksgiving.  

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Responsibility vs. Blame

In the many organizations and projects I have been through, I always hear someone saying these words, “We must have more accountability around here.” But, in reality what they ‘really’ mean is, “I want to know whom to blame when something goes wrong”. We assume that by early identification of a scapegoat you have put the fear of blame in you or at least the fear of consequences related to that blame and further assume that fear is an effective motivator.

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